eat the lentils the day of New Year’susually at the end of the dinner and perhaps even accompanied by a nice piece of cotechino, it seems to be the best way to make sure money e fortuna for the new year. Without a doubt, it is a tradition that is difficult to give up and which has gone through centuries of history. But what is its meaning and what are its origins?
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Lentils on New Year’s Eve: the origin of the legend
The idea that lentils are a source of luck and wealth has its roots in the times ofancient Rome. It will be due to their shape similar to that of a coin or to the ancient belief that they bring prosperity, for the Romans lentils were a real symbol of wealth. In fact, for them he used to put a handful in one pursea small leather purse usually used to store money, and give it as an auspicious sign.
On the other hand, eating meat was a real luxury at the time receive lentils it was certainly welcome. And although the Roman New Year was celebrated in March instead of January, this one tradition really went through the changes and transformations of history with tenacity to cheer up our tables on New Year’s Eve and, who knows, bring a bit of luck!
But why lentils?
One question still remains to be clarified: why the lentils as a symbol of wealth? In fact, lentils were considered a very nutritious food but at the same time intended mostly for lower classes of the population. For this reason, according to some, the custom is merely linked to form and to theirs weight: the shape is precisely that of a small coin and for the same weight they are much more numerous than other legumes. In this way, families would have had the opportunity to eat many and hope for an equal profit coins.
Imagine receiving one bag full of coins: that was more or less the sensation of seeing the purse full of lentils! Whether it’s true or not, a little bit of imagination e you hope it’s what we need to forget the past year and better face the new one. And then, if this custom has come down to the present day, there must be a reason…